Everyone has learned a lot in the past year about protecting themselves from COVID-19. Yet most people remain unaware that their oral health greatly impacts their immune system and overall health.
The reason is that the body has limited resources to fight the bad guys. If it is occupied by sending white blood cells to the mouth to eliminate bacteria from a periodontal infection, it has fewer resources to resist other threats, such as the COVID virus.
Furthermore, we know that those who suffer the most severe symptoms of COVID or are at the greatest risk of dying are those with “other underlying conditions.” These include diabetes, cardiovascular, and cancer. Studies show that poor oral health significantly raises the risk for exactly those health problems.
Keeping your immune system in top shape includes being rigorous about spending a few moments each day to keep periodontal disease from getting a foothold. It starts with a full two minutes brushing the inside and outer surfaces of your lower and upper teeth right after breakfast and then after dinner. You only need to floss once before bedtime, but don’t do it too quickly–just pulling the thread between your teeth doesn’t necessarily get every bit of food off.
This work needs to be supported by having a dental hygienist give you a professional cleaning at least twice a year (troubled cases require this more often). There are additional dental services that can supplement your cleaning routine.
But there is much more you can do to keep your mouth healthy, according to Healthline.com